Reuters is reporting the Japanese government has privately concluded the 2021 Tokyo Olympics will have to be cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The news agency quoted The Times newspaper citing a senior ruling coalition member.
The Japanese government's focus was now on securing the games for Tokyo in the next available year, 2032, the newspaper said.
The Olympic rings float in the water at sunset in the Odaiba section in Tokyo.Credit:AP
Earlier, the London Telegraph had reported senior International Olympic Committee member Dick Pound said the Games might have gone ahead but without spectators.
Organisers had previously played down fears of an Olympic Games event with no fans, despite refunds being offered for the rearranged event. IOC President Thomas Bach stepped back from promising crowds on Thursday, saying organisers must be "flexible" amid COVID-19 surges.
But Pound added to fresh uncertainty, saying. "The question is, is this a 'must have' or 'nice to have'? It's nice to have spectators. But it's not a must have."
The comments come after Sir Keith Mills, the former chief executive of London 2012, suggested it was "unlikely" that the Games would take place.
With the world in a race against time to immunise entire populations, close to 80 per cent of Japanese people believe the Olympics, already postponed by a year, should be delayed again, The Telegraph reported.
The IOC expected 6000 athletes at the opening ceremony, down from an initial figure of about 11,000, it said.
More to come
Reuters; Telegraph, London
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